Fujiyama Mama!

Woodblock made ca. 1930 exactly the same way a...
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One of the greatest disappointments of last year was that I did not get to climb Mt. Fuji. I didn’t realize that it’s only open to climbers in July and August, and there simply was not a reasonable time to go do it. But this year…I am determined! Not only Fuji, but thanks to the fun Japanese trend of being a “yama girl,” I’m ready to making hiking a fabulous new hobby of mine. So what’s a yama girl?

Yama means “mountain” in Japanese, so it’s a girl who hikes and wears adorable, colorful clothing. Typically, it’s boots with tight and leg warmers, and some type of skirt or shorts, then, either a puffy jacket or vest over a bright shirt. It’s practical, it’s fun, it’s… SUPER EXPENSIVE. I started out by looking for funky hiking stuff online and found almost nothing. Then, I realized most of these items are made for a Japanese market, so I googled sporting goods stores, and went out in Tokyo, also hoping to find derby clothes. What I found was a street with about 50 stores on it, mostly dedicated completely to snowboarding. Then, I stumbled upon an outdoor mecca, and the yama girl stuff was everywhere. Oooooh! I was so excited! I ran up to a puffy coat like a moth to a flame. How much is it? $600? What the #%*???  There was almost nothing at all in the store under $50 at all, to include bandannas, socks, etc. It’s true that the dollar is weak against the yen now, and Japan is an expensive place, but c’mon!

I’ll have figure out a thriftier way! I did find some cheap fair isle leggings and the PX and I got a puffy 80’s Adidas vest on clearance, so I’ve started. Now I just need to get outside!

Further Reading:

http://www.smosh.com/smosh-pit/articles/crazy-mountain-girls-tokyo

http://www.webleague.net/korekire/wear/outdoorstyle.html

http://www.thegearcaster.com/the_gearcaster/2010/11/i-want-to-be-a-yama-girl-too.html